Video: Tesla Model S Breaks Ice


Covered in a sheet of ice is this frozen Tesla Model S.

Frozen Model S

Frozen Model S

And yes, the door handles can break ice.

What’s unique here is that this video was not put out by Tesla (as was the case the first time we witnessed the handles breaking ice).

As the video description states:

“Tesla Model S covered in ice. Showing how the doorhandles have enough power to brake through a frozen door. The power rear lift gate is quite impressive as well.”

The ice-breaking action of the door handles is a featured we’d show off to our friends if we happened to own a Model S.  There’s a WOW factor there for sure, though we do wonder if those handles can handle breaking ice over and over again.

Categories: Tesla, Videos


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19 Comments on "Video: Tesla Model S Breaks Ice"

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Nice. Don’t think those will be on the Model E…

I wouldn’t imagine small sensors and motors are too expensive. It would be unwise of Tesla to exclude what has become one of its signature features.

Yes, retractable door handles are so stupid idea that only Elon can think like that!

Aerodynamics! Most important for range.

And Anon. For a $30-40,000 car, I think Tesla can include the “expense” for handles with motors and buttons that slide out when a key is near.
It’s not like they will souley make the Model E forbiddingly expensive! If anything, there’s likely no serious reason for the Model E to not inherit the retractable door mirrors, that of which will also be featured on the Model X.

I doubt door handle aero is significant.
And not even close to as important as wheel aero is. Which they failed to consider.

The door handles are showmanship. Nothing more.

The idea for the handles is rooted in a very pragmatic improvement of aerodynamics. The seemingly decadent high tech effect of them presenting themselves when you approach the car, is just an added bonus. 😉

There is nothing stupid with well engineered solutions.

Looking forward to Tesla pushing for video-based side view mirrors with their Model X. They could save about 10% in range by eliminating them. The video versions might end up on E, if US regulations and “cpu” are amenable to mass production by that time.

I hope! So much advantages that follow it! It’ll may give the VW XL1 fans in the US a reason to be excited. We’ll honestly have to see what comes as the production version. But I won’t entirely bet on it that these US regulations would be looked at again.

Cost would be the primary reason for not including it on their least expensive vehicle. If you really want them, buy an S.


I have to agree, although the door handles are on the list of the 100 coolest things about the S, there are throughout automotive history other cars who’s handles were either flat, flush, otherwise hidden from the airflow.

Normally I would agree with KISS and I would probably have chosen a simple handle design but there is a concept in marketing called surprise and delight where you try to exhilarate the potential customer and that effect is quite important. And when it comes to rich customers you need a certain critical mass to give the illusion that appeals to them enough to buy and tell others. And Tesla certainly managed that to their credit. As much as I don’t like the lack of profitability of the car because of many expensive solutions, it could turn out to be just the right thing because all that surprise and delight worked on the stock market who gave Tesla Motors a cool billion dollars to wash away all the bad business decisions. Sort of making them good business decisions. Albeit by ‘luck’. I like rational simplicity and competent engineering and I believe that a car with minimal elegant door handles could sell just fine if it had the same performance. And indeed potentially sell much better if it was half the price because it weighed half due to more competent engineering. But I have to respect how much surprise and delight… Read more »

The handle thing is neat for sure … but it still leaves the doors and the door seals frozen shut.

While the video is impressive this is probably not the best idea, as it could cause damage if ice is too thick!

A more impressive video would be a time-lapse (15 minutes reduced to 30 seconds) of a Model S melting the ice off with its’ remote climate pre-heat feature. Bonus points: if video includes an iced ICE vehicle parked next to the S. 😉

I’d proffer that the ICE car with remote start would heat the cabin more quickly (presuming that both cars did not employ heated windshields).

Quite a few cars here in the colder part of the world have remote/smart phone controlled diesel heaters. And even more (almost all) have cabin heaters that you use by plugging in the car. So…there are a lot of plugin vehicles even though it’s just for preheating it and unfortunately not for running the car.
So it’s a big chance that your iced ICE vehicle would be ice free before the Tesla.

But you get a bonus point for trying at least =)

tons ‘o room for the EV “Cold Weather Package” to evolve.

Your Model S warranty has expired.

I wonder how many miles of range that car lost warming the battery while parked.

The BIG news today: Tesla finnaly started to revised the price in Brussels for the Tesla Model S 85 KWh. It was at 116000 $ it now is at 105655 $ and hoppefully coming down all the way to the New York price of 73570 $. Wait and see.
Anyway that is going the right way even if there is still some way to go down.